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23
Nov

T-Mobile Announces ‘Un-carrier Unwrapped’ Promotion Offering Free LTE Data for All Customers for Three Months


T-Mobile today announced a new holiday promotion it’s calling “Un-carrier Unwrapped,” offering free unlimited LTE data for all of its Simple Choice customers for the next three months. All existing Simple Choice postpaid customers as of the end of the day on November 23 will get the unlimited data.

T-Mobile also plans to unveil additional “gifts” for the next month, with a new gift coming each week. The company is teasing a “special holiday gift” for Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon customers, with one gift per carrier per week.

tmounlimiteddata

“We’ve had a fantastic year, and we’re going to spread that T-Mobile cheer by starting with the most important people first… our existing customers! Now you get Unlimited LTE data on our blazing fast network for three full months as a gift from the Un-carrier to you,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “But that’s not all….we know that Verizon, AT&T and Sprint customers need some holiday cheer, too – so we’ve got presents coming for them. Just wait!”

The unlimited data offering for Simple Choice customers will begin on December 1, 2015 and will last through March 1, 2016. Unlimited data will kick in once all existing data and Data Stash data has been used up. T-Mobile does require its Binge On video streaming service to be activated.

Unveiled earlier this month, Binge On provides T-Mobile customers with video streaming that does not eat into data plans, but it uses a data compression algorithm that streams video at a reduced 480p quality.

T-Mobile is also offering Black Friday deals on Samsung smartphones and discounting the UE Boom Bluetooth speaker by $100, dropping the price to $99.
Discuss this article in our forums

23
Nov

Air Button adds handy shortcuts to NFC-enabled phones


The idea of customizable add-on buttons for smartphones isn’t exactly new. First we had Pressy (which was quickly cloned by Xiaomi and others), then the Dimple NFC button pad came along. So what’s next? Well, a Hong Kong startup thinks Dimple has space for improvement, which leads us to the Air Button. As the name suggests, this is yet another battery-less button that also makes use of — and without interfering with — NFC on the back of many Android devices, except it doesn’t have a memory limitation as the commands are stored in the app, so you can assign literally as many actions and apps as you want. For instance, you can set it to be an emergency button that toggles an audio alert, a flashlight and a phone call at the same time. Or you can have a sports mode button that starts playing music as well as launching your preferred fitness app. Slideshow-342729

Source: Kickstarter

23
Nov

FAA task force recommends drones over 250 grams be registered


Private companies including Google, GoPro, DJI, Amazon and others have submitted their recommendations to the FAA concerning drone registration. The group determined that all drones over 250 grams should be registered with the government with an owner’s name and street address. During the process there would also be an educational presentation about when and where to fly. The idea is that if one of these flying machines falls out of the sky and causes havoc, the authorities will be able to track down the owner. The task force recommended that registration process be electronic and have an API so new owners could register via the device’s app if the manufacturer adds that functionality. If you’re curious about the weight limit, the team of companies figured that anything 250 grams and lighter would be unlikely to cause the death or serious injury of a person on the ground. Of course these are only recommendations right now. The FAA still has to implement them. But it’s good to know it’s talking to the industry about the future of our skies.

Source: FAA

23
Nov

You can now order Domino’s at the push of a button


Domino's launches The Limited Edition Easy Order button allowing pizza lovers to order their favourite pizza straight to their door at the touch of a button.

Domino’s launches The Limited Edition Easy Order button allowing pizza lovers to order their favourite pizza straight to their door at the touch of a button.

It’s interesting to be living in the future. A few years ago, I heard someone observe, “If I take this piece of glass and plastic out of my pocket and touch the glass in the right places, food will show up at the door.”

At the time, that was a fascinating bit of deconstruction that really underlined how cool it was to be alive in the 21st century. When you strip away the trappings of user interface, a lot of our technology just seems like pure magic. Now, Domino’s is taking that concept for a ride with their new on-touch pizza order button.

The move isn’t unprecedented. Amazon’s Dash buttons have certainly been successful. With these, users can instantly order a variety of pre-programmed household products with a single touch of a conveniently placed button. Domino’s has decided to bring this convenience to pizza delivery with an “Easy Order” button housed in a tiny cardboard box. Press it once, and the button will interact via Bluetooth with the Domino’s mobile app on your smartphone, an order will go out for your favorite pizza, and a charge will be applied to your card. Thirty minutes later: food.


amazon-dashSee also: Amazon Dash makes it easy to quickly scan your groceries, integrates with AmazonFresh Android app2

It looks like only the UK is getting the actual, physical button this December, but a larger rollout is expected for February 2016. Honestly, we’d be extremely surprised if this didn’t hit US soil in the near future. To quote Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, “There’s only four things [Americans] do better than anyone else: music, movies, microcode (software), and high-speed pizza delivery.” While the other items on that list may be debatable, it’s no secret that America really loves pizza.

You might not be able to get ahold of the physical button, but Domino’s is putting a digital version on their mobile app, so you can dive into the instant delivery experience without waiting.

Download the Domino’s App from Google Play

What do you think? Would you use an instant pizza delivery button? Let us know in the comments!

23
Nov

Android Studio 2.0 Preview focuses on improved deployment speeds and much more


Android Studio 2.0 Preview

Google is now giving developers the chance to preview tons of new features in the Android Studio 2.0 Preview, which was just released earlier today. The big news with this updated preview build is speed, thanks to two new features Google is introducing to Android Studio: Instant Run and GPU Profiler. Let’s take a look at what these new features offer.

First up is Instant Run, which will allow you to quickly see your changes running on your device or emulator. All new projects in Android Studio 2.0 will already have the feature enabled. If you already have an app in Android Studio, head to Settings/Preferences > Build > Execution > Deployment > Instant Run. Once you click Enable Instant Run, you’re all set up. From there, click Run as normal and Android Studio will perform normal compilation and install steps. Pressing Run again will deploy your changes directly into the running application.

For a more detailed look at the new Instant Run feature, check out the video below:


ASFeaturedPicDon’t miss: Android Studio tutorial for beginners4

Next up is GPU Profiler, which will make profiling your OpenGL ES Android code much easier. It will show you detail about the GL State and Commands, and will allow you to record your entire session and walk through the GL Framebuffer and Textures as your app is running OpenGL ES Code.

All of these new features are available now in the canary release channel, so Google is able to get your feedback. And since this initial release is a preview, Google suggests downloading and running an extra copy of Android Studio in parallel with your current version to make sure everything goes smoothly.

23
Nov

Google actually made a Star Trek-style communicator prototype


Amit Singhal, senior vice president and software engineer at Google

The future is already here – we can talk to our mobile devices, deliver internet access through balloons in the sky, and even ride in self-driving vehicles. And just how do we know the future is here? One of the best ways to gauge the progress we’ve been making is by comparing our technological advancements with those featured in popular sci-fi shows, such as Star Trek. Sure, we’re still a ways off from teleportation and time travel, but wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a device similar to the Star Trek communicator that actually existed in real life?

According to Amit Singhal, senior vice president and software engineer at Google, in an interview with TIME, the Mountain View-based company made one in an effort to find new ways to perform internet searches.

The Star Trek-style communicator was made thanks to Singhal’s two main obsessions: search and Star Trek. He eventually combined his two passions in the form of a mock-up wearable device similar to the one Captain Picard and his crew used to interact with the Enterprise. The prototype was a Bluetooth-enabled lapel pin that was equipped with a microphone and could be activated with just a simple tap. It would then output sound through a built-in speaker (or with headphones), and would allow users to talk to Google without the need to get out their smartphones.


Nexus 5 Google Now Google SearchRelated: Google Search can now answer much more complex questions7

“I always wanted that pin. You just ask it anything and it works,” said Singhal. “That’s why we were like, ‘Let’s go prototype that and see how it feels.’” The device unfortunately never made it past the testing phase. There’s no word as to why Google scrapped the project, unfortunately.

If Google actually released a Star Trek-style lapel pin that could be used to communicate with your smartphone, would you buy it? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments.

23
Nov

15 best Android launcher apps of 2015


Android launcher apps have long been an integral part of the Android experience. If you don’t like the way your home screens look or act, you can simply download an app to change all of it. There is no doubt that Android launcher apps have a far more diverse set of features than any other genre of application and you can really do some amazing things with these apps. Let’s take a look at the best ones! As of 2015, EverythingMe Launcher has closed its doors. We wish their team the best in their future endeavors!


Android launcher - Action LauncherAction Launcher 3

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Action Launcher has long been a favorite of our readers and it deserves a spot on this list. It comes with a stock Android kind of look but with several unique features baked in. Some of these include Quicktheme which uses your background to determine the theme accents, Covers which is a unique take on folders, Quickpage which is like a hidden home screen you can access almost anywhere, and plenty more. It has a long history of being stable with frequent updates. You can also follow developer Chris Lacy on Google+ by clicking here for news about updates.
Get it now on Google Play!


Apex Launcher android launcherApex Launcher

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Apex Launcher has been around for a very long time and remains one of the most iconic Android launchers ever. Like Action Launcher, it aims to give a stock Android look and feel with a few extra features thrown in for good measure. Among those include the ability to alter things like transition animations, scrolling habits, and there is even a scrolling dock where you can lay plenty of icons. Apex Launcher also includes a theme engine with many themes available on the Google Play Store and it also supports icon packs. It’s also quite stable on pretty much any device.
Android Launcher
Get it now on Google Play!


buzz android launcherBuzz Launcher

[Price: Free]
Buzz Launcher is an intensely popular launcher with a different kind of theming. Buzz Launcher utilizes something called Homepacks which allows you to not only customize and theme your home screen, but actually change the entire home screen itself. There are over 800,000 downloadable configurations and that means you can literally play with this thing all day long and still have new themes to check out. Other than theming, it’s a fairly solid Android launcher but it is complex so be prepared for that.
Get it now on Google Play!


CM Launcher best Android launcher appsCM Launcher

[Price: Free]
Despite it’s name, CM Launcher has actually no ties to CyanogenMod whatsoever. The app is done by the same developers who did CM Security which adorns our best Android Antivirus apps list right now. The app focuses on creating the smallest conceivable footprint and the download itself is only 2MB and uses only a small amount of system resources. It’s a light, fast, and stable launcher. Its biggest feature is the direct integration with CM Security so this one has a built-in antivirus. Of course, we know not everyone wants that but this is a fairly good option for those that do. There is also a contextual element that tries to guess what apps you need based on your location and the time of day.
Get it now on Google Play!
CM Launcher best Android launcher apps


GO Android launcherGO Launcher EX

[Price: Free with in app purchases / $5.99]
GO Launcher is among the most popular Android launchers out there with well over 100 million installs to date. This is likely thanks to its simplicity and extensive theming options. It comes with a fairly vanilla set of features that allow for slight customization but the biggest feature is the theming. There are a metric ton of GO Launcher themes and you can also use icon packs with this launcher. It’s easy to use and works rather well, even if some believe it to be a tad overrated.
Get it now on Google Play!


Google Now Launcher android launcherGoogle Now Launcher

[Price: Free]
Google Now Launcher is the the go-to launcher for fans of Google and Android. It is essentially the stock launcher experience with built-in Google Now. It features simplicity, “Okay, Google” hotword integration, translucent theming elements, and more. It’s not overly powerful or customizable, but it is slim, quick, and built-in Google Now is a must have for Google Now fans. It’s a great launcher that doesn’t use a lot of resources and this is what Nexus owners see when they turn on their devices for the first time.
Get it now on Google Play!


Android Launcher 8Launcher 8

[Price: Free]
Launcher 8 is a unique launcher because it looks nothing like Android. In fact, this launcher’s sole purpose of existing is to make your phone look like a Windows Phone. Using this, you can convert your widgets into Windows Phone style live tiles and create virtually the same experience you’d find on Windows Phone, but with Android instead. It also comes with a handful of other features making it a very solid Android launcher app.
Get it now on Google Play!


Android launcher Lightning LauncherLightning Launcher

[Price: Free / $2.99]
Lightning Launcher isn’t the most popular on the list but it does have among the highest ratings. This Android launcher app has a very simple premise. It aims to use as few of your device’s resources as humanly possible. The features are a bit scant but do include some powerful ones including unlimited home screens, the ability to add and arrange icons anywhere you want, and its ability to run on almost nothing makes it a great launcher for older and lower end devices. It’s definitely worth a shot if you need something light and fast.
Get it now on Google Play!



best tablet apps for AndroidSee also: 10 best Android tablet apps that all tablet owners should have42


Next Launcher Android launcherNext Launcher 3D Shell

[Price: Free / $16.99]
Next Launcher is among the most unique Android launcher apps on this list. It also happens to be developed by the GO Launcher developers so you know there’s some experience there. Next Launcher features a 3D style home screen layout that utilizes a scroll tab on the right side to quickly switch to any home screen you’ve created. It also features unique icon layouts, themes, a unique set of widgets (separate download), and those who pay for the app will get a lot more. You can also pick it up for cheaper than the list price if you buy it using the in-app purchases of the free version.
Get it now on Google Play!


Nova Launcher best android launcherNova Launcher

[Price: Free / $4.00]
It doesn’t get too much better than Nova Launcher. Like Apex Launcher, Nova has been around since “the good old days” and remains not only relevant, but one of the best Android launcher app options available. It has a laundry list of customizable features that include gesture support, the ability to customize the look and feel of the app, icon pack support, themes, and much, much more. It also gets updated at a fairly rapid pace which means bugs generally get squished quickly. It also comes with the ability to backup and restore your home screen layouts for when you eventually switch to a new phone.
Get it now on Google Play!
nova launcher best android launcher apps


smart launcher android launcherSmart Launcher 3

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Smart Launcher 3 is another unique take on the Android home screen. This one has one single home screen with a number of shortcuts arranged in a flower-style pattern. The idea is to give access to apps quickly while using as little resources as possible to keep your device running quickly. It features notifications on the home screen, tons of available themes, security features like password-protected applications, and there are even plugins. It may be a bit simple for some, but it’s powerful and works very well.
Get it now on Google Play!


best Android Launcher Solo Launcher iconSolo Launcher

[Price: Free]
Solo Launcher bills itself as a DIY solution for those who like to have more control. It utilizes Material Design 2.0 which means you’ll have the latest options when it comes to design. There are a metric ton of customization options and you can make this launcher pretty much act and appear how you want. It also comes with theming, gesture controls, a clock/weather widget and more. It’s definitely worth a shot if you need something small, fast, and customizable.
Get it now on Google Play!


themer android launcherThemer: Launcher

[Price: Free]
Themer is a launcher where pretty much everything can be customized. This app works similarly to Buzz Launcher where you download a theme that changes almost everything about all of your home screens. Each them is then individually customizable which gives you a virtually unlimited number of themes and combinations to work with. Themer developers also give this app away for free and all themes are free which makes it a lot of fun to goof around with without worrying about spending too much money. It’s powerful, has icon pack support, and is integrated with Zooper Widget.
Get it now on Google Play!


Yahoo Aviate Android Launcher iconYahoo Aviate Launcher

[Price: Free]
Aviate Launcher has had quite a history. It started out as a startup project by a handful of developers before Yahoo! bought it out a couple of years back. Like EverythingMe Launcher, Yahoo Aviate has some contextual elements to try to deliver the apps you need when you need them based on location and time of day. It also comes with a sleek, simple layout along with Smart Stream which is kind of like Google Now. It’s a powerful launcher and quickly becoming a go-to solution for a lot of people. It’s also totally free.
Get it now on Google Play!


Nokia Z Launcher best android launcher appsZ Launcher by Nokia

[Price: Free]
Z Launcher by Nokia is last on our list and this is one exceptionally minimal launcher. It features one home screen, an app drawer, and then an area where you can actually write out what you’re looking for. It’s a unique premise that’s great for those who enjoy something more minimal and slick and those who don’t need anything complex. It’s still in beta, but surprisingly stable and a worthy option. Check out our hands on video below to see exactly how it works!
Get it now on Google Play!


Wrap up

If we missed any awesome Android launcher apps, tell us about them in the comments below! This list is continually updated so who knows, your recommendation may make it up here some day! If you want to keep up to date on the latest Android apps and games news, you can subscribe to our newsletter using the form below!

Signup for our newsletter

Email Address
  • Android Weekly
  • Apps Weekly

23
Nov

Updated firmware arrives for Gear S2


samsung gear s2 review aa (20 of 24)

The Samsung Gear S2 isn’t available everywhere just yet. In the markets where it currently exists however, it’s been receiving a variety of updates designed to improve user experience. This morning, one such update arrived in South Korea, bringing with it a slew of cosmetic tweaks and a handful of new features.

Senior XDA member SuperSoulFly has posted all the details over at XDA. So what’s new? Quite a bit.


gear-s2-thumbSee also: Samsung Gear S2 review62

An “Auto open apps” option has been included in the settings. When activated, the app-selection interface is modified slightly. When scrolling through your apps list, the one you stop on will launch after a brief pause rather than requiring you to tap it.

The device now supports the ability to notify you if it becomes disconnected from your phone. You can reach this option through the “Connections” menu.

Screen timeout options have been added, allowing you to choose between 15 seconds, 30 seconds, a minute, or five minutes. There are also a handful of new watchfaces.


samsung gear s2 unboxing aa (17 of 20)See also: Virtually try on the Samsung Gear S2 with this new app4

Some new stock apps have also been added, which SuperSoulFly denounces as bloatware. These include a world clock, the official Starbucks app, a navigation app (Korean), and a news app. So far, all of these new additions can be uninstalled.

A notification indicator has been added, which puts a small orange circle on your watchface if you have unviewed notifications. Also, double-tapping notifications will increase the text size for easier reading. If you swipe up to dismiss a notification, a trash can appears, providing you with a little better feedback as to what the gesture accomplished.

The add-widget “+” symbol now expressly says “add widget” beneath it, removing any confusion as to the button’s purpose.

An “Add template” feature has been added on the watchfaces menu. This will let you choose and modify existing face styles.

All in all, the update serves to streamline rather than revolutionize the Gear S2’s interface. Going forward, we can probably expect all of these details to be out of the box features when the Gear S2 begins arriving in new markets around the world.

23
Nov

15 best Android launcher apps of 2015


Android launcher apps have long been an integral part of the Android experience. If you don’t like the way your home screens look or act, you can simply download an app to change all of it. There is no doubt that Android launcher apps have a far more diverse set of features than any other genre of application and you can really do some amazing things with these apps. Let’s take a look at the best ones! As of 2015, EverythingMe Launcher has closed its doors. We wish their team the best in their future endeavors!


Android launcher - Action LauncherAction Launcher 3

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Action Launcher has long been a favorite of our readers and it deserves a spot on this list. It comes with a stock Android kind of look but with several unique features baked in. Some of these include Quicktheme which uses your background to determine the theme accents, Covers which is a unique take on folders, Quickpage which is like a hidden home screen you can access almost anywhere, and plenty more. It has a long history of being stable with frequent updates. You can also follow developer Chris Lacy on Google+ by clicking here for news about updates.
Get it now on Google Play!


Apex Launcher android launcherApex Launcher

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Apex Launcher has been around for a very long time and remains one of the most iconic Android launchers ever. Like Action Launcher, it aims to give a stock Android look and feel with a few extra features thrown in for good measure. Among those include the ability to alter things like transition animations, scrolling habits, and there is even a scrolling dock where you can lay plenty of icons. Apex Launcher also includes a theme engine with many themes available on the Google Play Store and it also supports icon packs. It’s also quite stable on pretty much any device.
Android Launcher
Get it now on Google Play!


buzz android launcherBuzz Launcher

[Price: Free]
Buzz Launcher is an intensely popular launcher with a different kind of theming. Buzz Launcher utilizes something called Homepacks which allows you to not only customize and theme your home screen, but actually change the entire home screen itself. There are over 800,000 downloadable configurations and that means you can literally play with this thing all day long and still have new themes to check out. Other than theming, it’s a fairly solid Android launcher but it is complex so be prepared for that.
Get it now on Google Play!


CM Launcher best Android launcher appsCM Launcher

[Price: Free]
Despite it’s name, CM Launcher has actually no ties to CyanogenMod whatsoever. The app is done by the same developers who did CM Security which adorns our best Android Antivirus apps list right now. The app focuses on creating the smallest conceivable footprint and the download itself is only 2MB and uses only a small amount of system resources. It’s a light, fast, and stable launcher. Its biggest feature is the direct integration with CM Security so this one has a built-in antivirus. Of course, we know not everyone wants that but this is a fairly good option for those that do. There is also a contextual element that tries to guess what apps you need based on your location and the time of day.
Get it now on Google Play!
CM Launcher best Android launcher apps


GO Android launcherGO Launcher EX

[Price: Free with in app purchases / $5.99]
GO Launcher is among the most popular Android launchers out there with well over 100 million installs to date. This is likely thanks to its simplicity and extensive theming options. It comes with a fairly vanilla set of features that allow for slight customization but the biggest feature is the theming. There are a metric ton of GO Launcher themes and you can also use icon packs with this launcher. It’s easy to use and works rather well, even if some believe it to be a tad overrated.
Get it now on Google Play!


Google Now Launcher android launcherGoogle Now Launcher

[Price: Free]
Google Now Launcher is the the go-to launcher for fans of Google and Android. It is essentially the stock launcher experience with built-in Google Now. It features simplicity, “Okay, Google” hotword integration, translucent theming elements, and more. It’s not overly powerful or customizable, but it is slim, quick, and built-in Google Now is a must have for Google Now fans. It’s a great launcher that doesn’t use a lot of resources and this is what Nexus owners see when they turn on their devices for the first time.
Get it now on Google Play!


Android Launcher 8Launcher 8

[Price: Free]
Launcher 8 is a unique launcher because it looks nothing like Android. In fact, this launcher’s sole purpose of existing is to make your phone look like a Windows Phone. Using this, you can convert your widgets into Windows Phone style live tiles and create virtually the same experience you’d find on Windows Phone, but with Android instead. It also comes with a handful of other features making it a very solid Android launcher app.
Get it now on Google Play!


Android launcher Lightning LauncherLightning Launcher

[Price: Free / $2.99]
Lightning Launcher isn’t the most popular on the list but it does have among the highest ratings. This Android launcher app has a very simple premise. It aims to use as few of your device’s resources as humanly possible. The features are a bit scant but do include some powerful ones including unlimited home screens, the ability to add and arrange icons anywhere you want, and its ability to run on almost nothing makes it a great launcher for older and lower end devices. It’s definitely worth a shot if you need something light and fast.
Get it now on Google Play!



best tablet apps for AndroidSee also: 10 best Android tablet apps that all tablet owners should have42


Next Launcher Android launcherNext Launcher 3D Shell

[Price: Free / $16.99]
Next Launcher is among the most unique Android launcher apps on this list. It also happens to be developed by the GO Launcher developers so you know there’s some experience there. Next Launcher features a 3D style home screen layout that utilizes a scroll tab on the right side to quickly switch to any home screen you’ve created. It also features unique icon layouts, themes, a unique set of widgets (separate download), and those who pay for the app will get a lot more. You can also pick it up for cheaper than the list price if you buy it using the in-app purchases of the free version.
Get it now on Google Play!


Nova Launcher best android launcherNova Launcher

[Price: Free / $4.00]
It doesn’t get too much better than Nova Launcher. Like Apex Launcher, Nova has been around since “the good old days” and remains not only relevant, but one of the best Android launcher app options available. It has a laundry list of customizable features that include gesture support, the ability to customize the look and feel of the app, icon pack support, themes, and much, much more. It also gets updated at a fairly rapid pace which means bugs generally get squished quickly. It also comes with the ability to backup and restore your home screen layouts for when you eventually switch to a new phone.
Get it now on Google Play!
nova launcher best android launcher apps


smart launcher android launcherSmart Launcher 3

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Smart Launcher 3 is another unique take on the Android home screen. This one has one single home screen with a number of shortcuts arranged in a flower-style pattern. The idea is to give access to apps quickly while using as little resources as possible to keep your device running quickly. It features notifications on the home screen, tons of available themes, security features like password-protected applications, and there are even plugins. It may be a bit simple for some, but it’s powerful and works very well.
Get it now on Google Play!


best Android Launcher Solo Launcher iconSolo Launcher

[Price: Free]
Solo Launcher bills itself as a DIY solution for those who like to have more control. It utilizes Material Design 2.0 which means you’ll have the latest options when it comes to design. There are a metric ton of customization options and you can make this launcher pretty much act and appear how you want. It also comes with theming, gesture controls, a clock/weather widget and more. It’s definitely worth a shot if you need something small, fast, and customizable.
Get it now on Google Play!


themer android launcherThemer: Launcher

[Price: Free]
Themer is a launcher where pretty much everything can be customized. This app works similarly to Buzz Launcher where you download a theme that changes almost everything about all of your home screens. Each them is then individually customizable which gives you a virtually unlimited number of themes and combinations to work with. Themer developers also give this app away for free and all themes are free which makes it a lot of fun to goof around with without worrying about spending too much money. It’s powerful, has icon pack support, and is integrated with Zooper Widget.
Get it now on Google Play!


Yahoo Aviate Android Launcher iconYahoo Aviate Launcher

[Price: Free]
Aviate Launcher has had quite a history. It started out as a startup project by a handful of developers before Yahoo! bought it out a couple of years back. Like EverythingMe Launcher, Yahoo Aviate has some contextual elements to try to deliver the apps you need when you need them based on location and time of day. It also comes with a sleek, simple layout along with Smart Stream which is kind of like Google Now. It’s a powerful launcher and quickly becoming a go-to solution for a lot of people. It’s also totally free.
Get it now on Google Play!


Nokia Z Launcher best android launcher appsZ Launcher by Nokia

[Price: Free]
Z Launcher by Nokia is last on our list and this is one exceptionally minimal launcher. It features one home screen, an app drawer, and then an area where you can actually write out what you’re looking for. It’s a unique premise that’s great for those who enjoy something more minimal and slick and those who don’t need anything complex. It’s still in beta, but surprisingly stable and a worthy option. Check out our hands on video below to see exactly how it works!
Get it now on Google Play!


Wrap up

If we missed any awesome Android launcher apps, tell us about them in the comments below! This list is continually updated so who knows, your recommendation may make it up here some day! If you want to keep up to date on the latest Android apps and games news, you can subscribe to our newsletter using the form below!

Signup for our newsletter

Email Address
  • Android Weekly
  • Apps Weekly

23
Nov

15 best Android launcher apps of 2015


Android launcher apps have long been an integral part of the Android experience. If you don’t like the way your home screens look or act, you can simply download an app to change all of it. There is no doubt that Android launcher apps have a far more diverse set of features than any other genre of application and you can really do some amazing things with these apps. Let’s take a look at the best ones! As of 2015, EverythingMe Launcher has closed its doors. We wish their team the best in their future endeavors!


Android launcher - Action LauncherAction Launcher 3

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Action Launcher has long been a favorite of our readers and it deserves a spot on this list. It comes with a stock Android kind of look but with several unique features baked in. Some of these include Quicktheme which uses your background to determine the theme accents, Covers which is a unique take on folders, Quickpage which is like a hidden home screen you can access almost anywhere, and plenty more. It has a long history of being stable with frequent updates. You can also follow developer Chris Lacy on Google+ by clicking here for news about updates.
Get it now on Google Play!


Apex Launcher android launcherApex Launcher

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Apex Launcher has been around for a very long time and remains one of the most iconic Android launchers ever. Like Action Launcher, it aims to give a stock Android look and feel with a few extra features thrown in for good measure. Among those include the ability to alter things like transition animations, scrolling habits, and there is even a scrolling dock where you can lay plenty of icons. Apex Launcher also includes a theme engine with many themes available on the Google Play Store and it also supports icon packs. It’s also quite stable on pretty much any device.
Android Launcher
Get it now on Google Play!


buzz android launcherBuzz Launcher

[Price: Free]
Buzz Launcher is an intensely popular launcher with a different kind of theming. Buzz Launcher utilizes something called Homepacks which allows you to not only customize and theme your home screen, but actually change the entire home screen itself. There are over 800,000 downloadable configurations and that means you can literally play with this thing all day long and still have new themes to check out. Other than theming, it’s a fairly solid Android launcher but it is complex so be prepared for that.
Get it now on Google Play!


CM Launcher best Android launcher appsCM Launcher

[Price: Free]
Despite it’s name, CM Launcher has actually no ties to CyanogenMod whatsoever. The app is done by the same developers who did CM Security which adorns our best Android Antivirus apps list right now. The app focuses on creating the smallest conceivable footprint and the download itself is only 2MB and uses only a small amount of system resources. It’s a light, fast, and stable launcher. Its biggest feature is the direct integration with CM Security so this one has a built-in antivirus. Of course, we know not everyone wants that but this is a fairly good option for those that do. There is also a contextual element that tries to guess what apps you need based on your location and the time of day.
Get it now on Google Play!
CM Launcher best Android launcher apps


GO Android launcherGO Launcher EX

[Price: Free with in app purchases / $5.99]
GO Launcher is among the most popular Android launchers out there with well over 100 million installs to date. This is likely thanks to its simplicity and extensive theming options. It comes with a fairly vanilla set of features that allow for slight customization but the biggest feature is the theming. There are a metric ton of GO Launcher themes and you can also use icon packs with this launcher. It’s easy to use and works rather well, even if some believe it to be a tad overrated.
Get it now on Google Play!


Google Now Launcher android launcherGoogle Now Launcher

[Price: Free]
Google Now Launcher is the the go-to launcher for fans of Google and Android. It is essentially the stock launcher experience with built-in Google Now. It features simplicity, “Okay, Google” hotword integration, translucent theming elements, and more. It’s not overly powerful or customizable, but it is slim, quick, and built-in Google Now is a must have for Google Now fans. It’s a great launcher that doesn’t use a lot of resources and this is what Nexus owners see when they turn on their devices for the first time.
Get it now on Google Play!


Android Launcher 8Launcher 8

[Price: Free]
Launcher 8 is a unique launcher because it looks nothing like Android. In fact, this launcher’s sole purpose of existing is to make your phone look like a Windows Phone. Using this, you can convert your widgets into Windows Phone style live tiles and create virtually the same experience you’d find on Windows Phone, but with Android instead. It also comes with a handful of other features making it a very solid Android launcher app.
Get it now on Google Play!


Android launcher Lightning LauncherLightning Launcher

[Price: Free / $2.99]
Lightning Launcher isn’t the most popular on the list but it does have among the highest ratings. This Android launcher app has a very simple premise. It aims to use as few of your device’s resources as humanly possible. The features are a bit scant but do include some powerful ones including unlimited home screens, the ability to add and arrange icons anywhere you want, and its ability to run on almost nothing makes it a great launcher for older and lower end devices. It’s definitely worth a shot if you need something light and fast.
Get it now on Google Play!



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Next Launcher Android launcherNext Launcher 3D Shell

[Price: Free / $16.99]
Next Launcher is among the most unique Android launcher apps on this list. It also happens to be developed by the GO Launcher developers so you know there’s some experience there. Next Launcher features a 3D style home screen layout that utilizes a scroll tab on the right side to quickly switch to any home screen you’ve created. It also features unique icon layouts, themes, a unique set of widgets (separate download), and those who pay for the app will get a lot more. You can also pick it up for cheaper than the list price if you buy it using the in-app purchases of the free version.
Get it now on Google Play!


Nova Launcher best android launcherNova Launcher

[Price: Free / $4.00]
It doesn’t get too much better than Nova Launcher. Like Apex Launcher, Nova has been around since “the good old days” and remains not only relevant, but one of the best Android launcher app options available. It has a laundry list of customizable features that include gesture support, the ability to customize the look and feel of the app, icon pack support, themes, and much, much more. It also gets updated at a fairly rapid pace which means bugs generally get squished quickly. It also comes with the ability to backup and restore your home screen layouts for when you eventually switch to a new phone.
Get it now on Google Play!
nova launcher best android launcher apps


smart launcher android launcherSmart Launcher 3

[Price: Free / $3.99]
Smart Launcher 3 is another unique take on the Android home screen. This one has one single home screen with a number of shortcuts arranged in a flower-style pattern. The idea is to give access to apps quickly while using as little resources as possible to keep your device running quickly. It features notifications on the home screen, tons of available themes, security features like password-protected applications, and there are even plugins. It may be a bit simple for some, but it’s powerful and works very well.
Get it now on Google Play!


best Android Launcher Solo Launcher iconSolo Launcher

[Price: Free]
Solo Launcher bills itself as a DIY solution for those who like to have more control. It utilizes Material Design 2.0 which means you’ll have the latest options when it comes to design. There are a metric ton of customization options and you can make this launcher pretty much act and appear how you want. It also comes with theming, gesture controls, a clock/weather widget and more. It’s definitely worth a shot if you need something small, fast, and customizable.
Get it now on Google Play!


themer android launcherThemer: Launcher

[Price: Free]
Themer is a launcher where pretty much everything can be customized. This app works similarly to Buzz Launcher where you download a theme that changes almost everything about all of your home screens. Each them is then individually customizable which gives you a virtually unlimited number of themes and combinations to work with. Themer developers also give this app away for free and all themes are free which makes it a lot of fun to goof around with without worrying about spending too much money. It’s powerful, has icon pack support, and is integrated with Zooper Widget.
Get it now on Google Play!


Yahoo Aviate Android Launcher iconYahoo Aviate Launcher

[Price: Free]
Aviate Launcher has had quite a history. It started out as a startup project by a handful of developers before Yahoo! bought it out a couple of years back. Like EverythingMe Launcher, Yahoo Aviate has some contextual elements to try to deliver the apps you need when you need them based on location and time of day. It also comes with a sleek, simple layout along with Smart Stream which is kind of like Google Now. It’s a powerful launcher and quickly becoming a go-to solution for a lot of people. It’s also totally free.
Get it now on Google Play!


Nokia Z Launcher best android launcher appsZ Launcher by Nokia

[Price: Free]
Z Launcher by Nokia is last on our list and this is one exceptionally minimal launcher. It features one home screen, an app drawer, and then an area where you can actually write out what you’re looking for. It’s a unique premise that’s great for those who enjoy something more minimal and slick and those who don’t need anything complex. It’s still in beta, but surprisingly stable and a worthy option. Check out our hands on video below to see exactly how it works!
Get it now on Google Play!


Wrap up

If we missed any awesome Android launcher apps, tell us about them in the comments below! This list is continually updated so who knows, your recommendation may make it up here some day! If you want to keep up to date on the latest Android apps and games news, you can subscribe to our newsletter using the form below!

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